Sunday, November 16, 2014

Shichi, Go, San

When I was approaching Central Park to see the Anglo-Satsuma Matsuri last Saturday, I noticed there was some activity at the nearby Terakuni Shrine. It just so happened that that day coincided with the Japanese tradition of Shichi-Go-San. Literally, it means "7, 5, 3". In the past, Japan had a high infant mortality rate, and young children would be taken to a shrine to be blessed when they reached specific ages. In part, it was a celebration because if the child reached that age, the odds were good that they'd live to adulthood. For girls, it's ages 3 and 7, and for boys, 3 and 5.

There were a few food booths selling cotton candy, hot dogs, and takoyaki. And lots of masks. Points if you can identify the characters.

Shinto priest cutout, if anyone wanted to pose with it.

As always, visitors buy fortunes. If the fortune turns out to be less than stellar, they can try to avert it by tying the fortune paper to something on the shrine grounds.

Family members partaking in a ceremony to bless the children in the area at the time.

Girls are dressed up in kimono, boys in western suits or hakama.

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